Ireland's attractiveness for retail investors falls in fourth quarter
Ireland's retail market for has become far less attractive for global investors, according to a new report from German firm Union Investment, an investment arm of DZ Bank Group.
Its Global Retail Attractiveness Index saw Ireland's score drop six points to 111 during the fourth quarter of 2018, but it's still more attractive than markets including the UK, France and Belgium.
A rating of 100 indicates average performance. The UK gained a score of 104, a rise of six points.
But Heinrike Waldburg, head of investment management retail at Union Investment, warned that the uptick in the UK's performance on the index "shouldn't be interpreted as a general trend".
"A no-deal exit from the EU at the end of March could have a devastating impact and perpetuate the crisis in British retail," Ms Waldburg said.
Figures released yesterday showed that the UK's economic growth slowed in the final quarter of 2018 to its slowest pace since 2012.
The UK's retail sector continues to be pummelled, with a raft of chains such as Debenhams in difficulty.
HMV went into administration last month.
Yesterday, industry group Retail Ireland - part of business lobby group Ibec - warned that while the volume of retail sales here rose 2.7pc year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2018, the advance masked declining footfall and a "gradual softening" in consumer sentiment and spending here.
Union Investment said that Europe's retail markets are "mostly in good shape" at the beginning of 2019.